Music Conservatory Program (Coming Fall 2019)

Our Music Conservatory is Unique

Xian Yun Academy of the Arts offers a pre-professional music program in an outstanding academic environment. This combination leaves our students well-equipped to succeed in universities and professional conservatories.

Our music curriculum is firmly rooted in classical music. It is comprised of high-level private and ensemble lessons as well as academic courses on music theory and composition. We help students attain a foundation in professional music and develop a portfolio for college applications.

Curriculum

The focus of the music department curriculum is private instruction with our academy faculty. Each student has two weekly 30-60-minute private lessons on his or her principal instrument.

Chamber performance ensemble focuses on developing individual musicianship through a small group setting. Students will work on their specific repertoires with an ensemble coach while they develop note reading skills, intonation, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, and balance. Ensembles will study individual and group practice and rehearsal techniques, interpretive and stylistic decisions as an ensemble, and performance skills.

This course covers music fundamentals including scales, intervals, key signatures, and harmony. Students work on notation as well as ear training/aural identification and sight singing.

This course offers an intensive study of a range of advanced topics in music theory including tone rows, transcription and analysis, and harmonic function. It is offered to third and fourth years who have completed Theory I and II. Students who complete this course will be well prepared to take the AP Music Theory exam.

This course teaches hands-on application on a variety of composition techniques using notation software. This is an elective course that can be taken once a student has passed Theory II.

Piano Lab I introduces basic piano skills to students with little to no piano experience, focusing on beginner piano pieces, scales, and chords. Piano Lab II furthers the study of the piano, focusing on more intermediate material and skills. Both levels also incorporate material currently being studied in each student’s Theory and Ear Training classes so that students can apply those topics to their piano studies. Students will graduate from these courses with a stronger understanding of the piano as an instrument and as a tool to better study music. They will also acquire the skills to pass a basic piano audition for a music program at the collegiate level.

Studio classes meet once a week, during which time students perform for their peers and faculty in a masterclass setting. Pieces are workshopped and critiqued with the aim of discussing rehearsal, practice and performance techniques with the entire department.

This two-year course is a survey of the genres, styles, famous composers, and compositions that are seen throughout the development of Western Art Music. Students observe the elements of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque Age, Classical Period, Romantic Era, and Twentieth Century. They will learn to contextualize musical achievements throughout history as they relate to the philosophies and events of their time.

Classical Vocal Workshop is a course designed to teach students how to implement the tools, resources, and practices of a classical vocalist. Voice majors study topics such as foreign language diction and enunciation, vocal health and pedagogy, performance practice, the history of opera and oratorio, and the history of Art Song. Students also prepare and perform vocal solos, small ensemble pieces, choral pieces, and opera scenes.  They will also perform in an annual recital with themes that may include French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and/or English Art Song.

Music Department Faculty

Mr. Jonathan Szin

Mr. Jonathan Szin

Clarinet Teacher

American-Hungarian clarinetist, Jonathan Szin, holds a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Jeffrey Anderle and was awarded Departmental Honors in clarinet and orchestral studies. Jonathan has performed with the Monterey Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and Opera Parallèle, in addition to performing as an active chamber musician. You can hear Jonathan playing clarinet in the short film, The Dam Keeper, directed by Pixar’s Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, recorded in 2014. Mr. Szin made his Kennedy Center debut in April 2014 taking part in the annual Conservatory Project - an annual concert series. Most recently, Jonathan is also a co-director/clarinetist of Nomad Session, the Bay Area’s first wind and brass octet.

Jonathan is currently an Artist in Residence in the San Mateo-Foster City School District in addition to running his own private studio in San Francisco. His students have been accepted to Oberlin College, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, All City Honor Band, and All State Honor Band. Jonathan is also a Woodwinds Coach at Stanford University providing instruction to musicians in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Philharmonia and Stanford Wind Ensemble.

Ms. Christy Kim

Ms. Christy Kim

Flute Teacher

California-born flutist Christy Kim is an orchestral and chamber musician. From 2016-2018, she was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Flute Fellow in 2017-2018. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony, joining them on their International Tour in 2017. She has performed alongside Yo-Yo Ma, and under conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Riccardo Muti, David Robertson, Han-na Chang, Christoph Eschenbach, and Leonard Slatkin. Future engagements for the 2018-2019 season include performing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Christy has taught flute throughout Chicago Public Schools, giving private lessons and group classes. She taught at the DePaul University Community Music Division as Artist Teacher, and Idyllwild Arts Academy as a Teaching Assistant. Christy also has a 15 year background in piano.

Christy holds a Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Christy’s principal flute teachers are Mark Sparks, Tim Day, Jim Walker, and Susan Greenberg.

Ms. Stephanie Stroud

Ms. Stephanie Stroud

French Horn Teacher

Stephanie is deeply dedicated to brass pedagogy and strongly believes in the importance of being a well-rounded musician. Understanding core principles of theory, aural skills, music history and singing are essential to building a strong, musical foundation. Throughout Stroud’s music education and career she has not only dedicated herself to brass playing, but also singing in choirs, improvising, composing, arranging and conducting to continually expand her musical knowledge. Stephanie performs with numerous orchestras including the San Francisco, Monterey, Stockton, Fresno and California Symphonies. In addition to orchestral work Stephanie maintains a busy chamber music career. She is a founding member of the group Nomad Session, which is the Bay Area’s first wind and brass octet. Stephanie has a passion for teaching and fostering a love of music in her students. Mrs. Stroud has worked as an artist-in-residence for the San Mateo-Foster City School District where she teaches beginning trumpet to over 275 students.

Stephanie holds a bachelor's in music performance from the University of Wyoming and a master's in horn performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Matthew DePasquale

Mr. Matthew DePasquale

Trumpet Teacher

Matthew DePasquale has been an active member of the Bay Area music scene since 2008, while enrolled in the Master’s Degree program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has had the opportunity to perform with numerous Bay Area ensembles, including The Santa Cruz Symphony, The Oakland Ballet, The Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, Merced Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, The Magik*Magik Orchestra, the San Francisco Choral Society, and the Silicon Valley Philharmonic; performing Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb.

In addition to his freelance trumpet career, he serves as Conducting Apprentice with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Merced Symphony, as well as Principal Conductor of Sven and the Masterful Majestic Orchestra, and the Joy Luck Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Lucas Jensen

Mr. Lucas Jensen

Tenor and Bass Trombone teacher

Originally from Washington state, Lucas Jensen is an active local bass trombonist and graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Before moving here, he received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory. He subs regularly with the Spokane Symphony, and plays with orchestras and chamber groups throughout the Bay Area. As a teacher, he works with several schools in Mountain View, teaches privately, and has worked with the San Francisco Symphony’s Education Department through their Adventures in Music Program.

Mr. Evan Kahn

Mr. Evan Kahn

Cello Teacher

Mr. Kahn is an acclaimed cellist who received a Bachelor’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s Degree in Chamber Music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds principal positions in four orchestras — principal cello in Symphony Silicon Valley, acting principal cello in Opera San Jose, and assistant principal cello in San Jose Chamber Orchestra and West Bay Opera. His Pittsburgh-based piano trio, Trio Rizi, won the top awards in the Silberman Chamber Music Competition and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition. Mr. Kahn is also a resident cellist for several Bay Area music collectives and ensembles, such as After Everything, Mythica Foundation, and hip-hop band Ensemble Mik Nawooj.

Ms. Erika Miras

Ms. Erika Miras

French Horn Teacher

Hornist Erika Miras is a freelance musician and teacher in the Bay Area, and has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Florida Grand Opera, Fresno Philharmonic, Modesto Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, and Berkeley Symphony, among others. Erika also holds the position of co-principal horn in the Palm Beach Symphony. An enthusiastic chamber musician, she performed at the International Horn Symposium in 2015 with her horn duo, Erika Squared, and was a 2014 Coleman Chamber Competition finalist. Erika is a founding member of ​switch,​ a new chamber ensemble based in Los Angeles that ​presents a variety of contemporary, classical, electronic and pop music.​ Her former teachers include Dr. Kristy Morrell, Adam Unsworth, Bryan Kennedy, and Robert Ward, and she holds degrees from University of Southern California, University of Michigan and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Christina Simpson

Ms. Christina Simpson

Violin Teacher

Christina Simpson began playing viola at the age of eight under the tutelage of Linda Ghidossi-Deluca in Santa Rosa, CA. After quickly advancing in local youth orchestras, she was accepted to the San Francisco Youth Orchestra as the youngest member and the youngest violist still ever accepted. In middle school she attended the Tanglewood Institute of Music and Encore School for Strings, studying with Jeffrey Irvine of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was awarded a prestigious scholarship to the Virtuoso Program at the San Domenico School where she served as Principal Violist for three years as well as winning the Principal Violist position in the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. With them, she traveled on three different European Tours, including performances in the Musikverein in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
She attended The Colburn School for one semester before returning home. She took up the sport of rowing at her local state school, broke the record, and was recruited to row for the #1 ranked team in the country, UC Berkeley. She served as Principal Violist for the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra for four years, was a founding member of the Elden String Quartet, and graduated with honors from the History Department. She has had the privilege of performing in master classes for Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Pamela Frank, members of the St. Lawrence, Emerson, and Takacs Quartets, among many others. She is currently the violist with Elevate Ensemble, and plays with groups around the Bay Area including Modesto and Merced Symphonies, One Found Sound, and Eclecta Quartet. She also serves as the Social Media Coordinator for the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and helps run a company with her friend making custom 3D printed shoulder rests.

Mr. Jesse Barrett

Mr. Jesse Barrett

Oboe Teacher

Jesse Barrett is a San Francisco Bay Area native who grew up in Pleasant Hill. He currently plays oboe and English horn for the Santa Rosa Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Napa Valley, and principal oboe for Townsend Opera Players, and Merced Symphony where he has been a soloist on multiple occasions. Mr. Barrett has recently been a soloist with the Pacific Chamber Orchestra where he played Handel's G-minor concerto and with conductor-less chamber orchestra One Found Sound as well as Symphony Napa Valley, both where he was featured playing Aaron Copland's "Quiet City" respectively. Last year, he played in the inaugural season of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico and plays regularly with many California and Nevada ensembles.

Mr. Barrett is an avid chamber musician, new music enthusiast, and teacher, and was recently appointed as a lecturer in oboe at California State University at Stanislaus. He frequently finds himself involved in musical start-ups like One Found Sound, teaching at music camps, making school visits, recording new music, and collaborating on solo and chamber concerts. He also is an avid runner and singer, frequently finding himself behind the mic at his favorite piano bar, and occasionally even cabaret venues. Mr. Barrett studied with Thomas Nugent at the University of the Pacific where he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and thereafter obtained a Master of Music from Boston University where he studied with Laura Ahlbeck and was inducted as a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.

Mr. Ian Cochran

Mr. Ian Cochran

Trumpet Teacher

Ian Cochran is a North Carolina native and has lived in the Bay Area as a freelance musician and educator for the past five years. His teachers include members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass sections. As an active performer, Ian can be seen in concert with the San Francisco Wind Ensemble, Nomad Session Wind Octet, and several regional symphony orchestras including the North State Symphony where he has served as Principal Trumpet since 2015. When not performing or teaching, Ian spends time motorcycling and enjoying his Boston terrier Olive.

Mr. Matt Carr

Mr. Matt Carr

Trombone Teacher

Trombonist Matt Carr, embraces a thriving career as both a performing musician and recording engineer. As a competitive chamber musician and soloist, he was the winner of both the 2012 ITA International Trombone Quartet Competition held in Paris, France, and the 2011 Big 12 Trombone Conference National Solo Competition. Matt performs regularly with orchestras around the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys exploring new ways of bringing exciting chamber music to audiences as a founding member of Nomad Session. As a classical recording engineer and producer, his recordings have been received in high regard by millions of ears worldwide. He often produces recordings for broadcast and commercial release through his business, Yellow Brick Audio. Matt holds a M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a B.M. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Jon Seiberlich

Mr. Jon Seiberlich

Tuba Teacher

Originally from Concord, CA, Jonathan moved to Oakland CA in 2013 in order to be a part of the San Francisco Bay Area’s vibrant music scene. Jonathan Seiberlich can be found performing with a broad array of performing ensembles, spanning every imaginable genre. On any given night you may hear him perform with the San Francisco Wind Ensemble, the San Francisco Opera Company, playing solo at MacArthur BART Station, performing with the Menlo Brass Quintet, the Brassview Quintet, with Brass Magic, the Jazz Mafia Collective, electronic dance music with Dimond Saints, or singing his original music with his band Jensen Engineering. His musical endeavors have taken him across the world, from performing for rural schools in the mountains of El Salvador to competing in the international tuba quartet competition at the International Tuba and Euphonium Association Conference in Austria.

In addition to performing, Jonathan is the low brass instructor at the Community School of Music and Arts, is a faculty member at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, and a director for Turning Deserts into Forests, a non-profit focused on finding new efficient ways of irrigating agriculture, organizing large scale reforestation projects, and helping rural communities in Africa conserve water.

Jonathan has a Bachelors degree in tuba performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, and In 2012, Jonathan earned his Masters degree in tuba performance from the University of Southern California.